From e-commerce and video-conferencing to messaging friends and colleagues, we take the encryption, and thus the security, of our digital communications for granted. However, while it ensures our privacy, it is also exploited by criminals to evade detection, for example those plotting terrorist atrocities or exchanging child sexual exploitation and abuse material (CSEA). The dilemma – whether to maintain privacy or tackle crime facilitated online – underlies the opposing and often stridently expressed views about encryption. As messaging platforms roll-out end-to-end encryption (E2EE), where not even service providers can decipher messages sent over their systems, law enforcement agencies have sought to preserve their covert ability to observe our communications. The UK’s latest proposals, in amendments to the government’s flagship Online Safety Bill, have aroused fierce industry and privacy group opposition. The ongoing difficulty in resolving the privacy versus safety conundrum in part arises from a failure to level with the public about the trade-offs involved.